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Climate Analysis

The ​Bioclimatic Chart (left) overlays temperature and relative humidity data for a given month in a specific location onto a chart which describes passive heating and cooling strategies.

The Sun path and Wind Diagram (right) illustrates the sun and wind patterns for a specific location.


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Sun Path and Wind Diagram

The sun's path is charted on a Sun Path Diagram.  Concentric lines indicate the sun's altitude, or the vertical location in relation to the horizon.  Radiating lines indicate the sun's azimuth, or the horizontal location of the sun in relation to due South.  This knowledge of the sun's location will inform passive cooling and heating strategies.

Wind direction and intensity varies in Houston according to season.  During the warmer portions of the year, the wind comes predominantly from the coast or the south and south east and are in the 20 mph range.  During the colder portions of the year, the wind comes from the North and is generally milder than that of the warmer months.  The wind speeds are generally higher during daylight hours and are consistent and mild.

This consistency proves valuable in applying ventilation as a passive cooling strategy and the wind direction guides the design at both the site and building scales.

Bioclimatic Chart

​The temperature and relative humidity for each month of the year in Houston is plotted on the chart.  According to the chart, the climate is comfortable either in itself of by means of passive strategies approximately 80% of the year.  A certain degree of flexibility or acclimatisation is required of a person to live in such a way, but studies have shown that such a way is possible and readily accepted by various peoples.  Nevertheless, because of the high relative humidity and heating requirements, conventional heating and dehumidification (cooling) would be standard in The Homestead.  

Natural ventilation as a cooling strategy is a primary passive method for the climate in hot-humid climates such as Houston and will be used in conjunction with other passive cooling strategies specific to the building and site design.